Pain, whether chronic or acute, can be debilitating. It can affect your mood, lifestyle and overall well-being and this leads people to seek out effective remedies. Pain medications are an obvious choice but the side effects can be too much to bear.
Opioids are a powerful treatment but they can be addictive and even deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say opioids killed more than 33000 people in the United States in 2015 with nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths due to prescription drugs. It is no surprise that people are turning to marijuana as one of the alternatives.
For many years there has been anecdotal evidence about how involving cannabis in a treatment plan can be of significant benefit. Now there is also research to back it up.
In 2010, a group of Canadian researchers found that three puffs of cannabis helped individuals with chronic nerve pain feel less pain and sleep better.
More recently, a review of 28 studies led by Harvard found that there was “high quality evidence” to support the effectiveness of marijuana in treating chronic pain, neuropathic pain and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.
Here are 8 conditions from which patients may get relief by using marijuana.
Cancer is usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These have several side effects and can be very harsh on the patient’s body. Studies have shown that cannabis fights cancer cells and tumors. It has also been found to reduce the pain and side effects of chemotherapy.
Cannabis has been reported to be effective in reducing pain from inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. Most people use it in topical treatments like salves and ointments but it can also be smoked or used in edibles.
Pain from rheumatoid arthritis can cause patients to be unable to function and unfortunately, many pain-relieving drugs can only be used for a short time. Cannabis has been credited with reducing pain from inflammation, improving movement and reducing the need for other medications.
Many of the drugs used to treat migraine headaches don’t offer relief from all the symptoms. Even when they do, there are many side effects. Medicinal marijuana has been known to prevent or lessen headaches as well as other migraine symptoms.
In addition, THC can hinder the release of serotonin during an acute attack and this helps to reduce symptoms of pain.
The pain from fibromyalgia can be so severe that it prevents normal functioning and this can lead to depression or anxiety. Marijuana has been found to alleviate all these symptoms. It can even help with the sleep problems some patients experience. You just need to find the correct strain to meet your specific symptoms.
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis but treatment can offer relief from symptoms and the slow down the disease’s progression. Marijuana can help reduce the inflammation and pain the disease causes as well as tremors and muscle spasms.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cannabis has been recommended to treat the pain, depression and diarrhea associated with IBS. This is because it lifts mood, reduces the rate at which food passes through your system, lessons cramping and alleviates nerve pain.
HIV-AIDS related pain
Cannabis can help relieve symptoms of HIV/AIDS as well as combat the side-effects of anti-retroviral drugs. Many people living with HIV/AIDS experience pain, weight loss, appetite loss, vomiting and nausea.
The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found that taking cannabis alongside antiretroviral drugs can make patients 3.3 times likelier to be able to continue conventional treatment.